Local 983

Historic disability rights victory creates hundreds of DOT jobs

November 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In recognition of his fight for the rights of disabled New Yorkers that has led to the installation and maintenance of thousands of curb ramps throughout the city, DC 37 Local 983 recently honored Joseph V. Stulberg, a resident of Henry J. Carter long-term care facility in Harlem. Stulberg inspired the 1994 class action lawsuit against New York City to enforce compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was settled in federal court on July 23, 2019. “We moved to Brooklyn but whenever my son Joe left the house in his wheelchair he was landlocked. He could not leave our block. It was impossible to get his wheelchair off and on the curb,” said Michelle Green, an associate director in the union’s Research and Negotiations Dept. Her husband, attorney Robert Stulberg, led the case for his son and Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (now the United [More...]

NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent/Local 983 Member Linda Mercer Succumbs to 9/11 Cancer

November 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO On Nov. 6, the toxic environment at Ground Zero claimed another victim. After a long battle, DC 37 Local 983 member Linda Mercer succumbed to 9/11-related breast cancer in her Queens home. Mercer, an NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent for 35 years, was assigned to Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, where she took part in the weighing and securing of dust-covered trucks emerging from the pit carrying debris to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Her prolonged exposure to the toxic air eventually led to her cancer diagnosis. While suffering from the effects of cancer treatment, the mother of two relentlessly lobbied Mayor Billl de Blasio for unlimited sick leave for city employees suffering from 9/11-related diseases. “We mourn this terrible loss to our DC 37 family,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “Linda was a relentless advocate for [More...]

DC 37 Leaders: More Funds Needed to Maintain City Parks

September 27, 2019 // 0 Comments

By RUDY OROZCO The presidents of four DC 37 locals with members in the Department of Parks and Recreation called for more funding in the city budget during a recent City Council hearing. Appearing at the Committee on Parks and Recreation hearing were Joe Puleo, president of New York City Motor Vehicles Operators Local 983; Mike Zeno, president of Uniformed Park Services Local 1508; Parks Gardeners Local 1507 President Daniel Clay and New York City Department of Parks Climbers & Pruners Local 1506 President Ibn Mann. Each spelled out staffing needs to keep neighborhood parks safe and clean. Puleo, who represents urban park rangers and PEP officers in the Parks Department thanked the City Council for “working with us to increase parks funding in the city budget which kept 50 urban park rangers and 80 PEP officers on the job.” But he stressed the need to make those funds [More...]

Long-time Urban Park Rangers Win Big Raises in New Contract

September 13, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Urban Park Rangers and Associate Urban Park Rangers overwhelmingly approved a new contract that will boost their salaries by nearly 7.5 percent over 49 months. For veteran workers with at least 20 years of experience in the covered titles represented by Local 983, the increase will ultimately bring home more than $9,000 over the duration of the contract. Significantly, the contract also adds three new recurring increment payments (RIPs) to the local’s contract. The old contract included such hikes at the fifth, tenth and fifteenth year of employment. The new agreement calls for additional hikes at three years ($241), seven years ($603) and 20 years ($5,529). “With these RIPs, we are essentially creating a step-pay plan that guarantees our members receive pay increases outside of our regular salary hikes,” Local 983 President Joe Puleo said. “The RIPs are a [More...]

Top National Honors for NYC Public Hospitals and Their Hardworking Employees

August 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In August, the American Heart Association gave high achievement awards to all 11 NYC Health + Hospitals facilities for implementing AHA’s national standards to achieve healthier outcomes for heart failure and stroke patients. Some 18,000 DC 37 members work at NYC H+H, the nation’s largest public hospital system. They are committed to giving quality care to the one million patients treated each year. Also this summer, U.S. News & World Report named seven New York City public hospitals as high performing in their 2019-2020 Best Hospital issue, which compares outcomes at 4,500 medical facilities nationwide in 16 specialty areas. The study helps patients and their doctors make better informed medical care choices. The high performing H+H hospitals for heart failure are: Bellevue, Coney Island, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln and Elmhurst, which is also [More...]

Urban Park Rangers Find a Lost 83-year-old Man on a Search-and-Rescue Mission

July 17, 2019 // 1 Comment

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Local 983 Urban Park Rangers in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze fanned out across the tidal marsh in a search-and-rescue mission to find a lost 83-year-old man on May 2. Headed to Staten Island University Hospital for a doctor’s visit, the elderly man missed his bus and decided to take a shortcut through the vast meadows he walked as a youngster. He told reporters that he had walked for almost 30 minutes only to discover too late that what he remembered to be dry land decades years ago is now 110 acres of wet marshland. Tired and disoriented, the man stepped in mud, fell backward, and began to sink. He used an old flip phone to call 911. UPR Sgt. Anne Marie Santos was at her post in Ocean Breeze when she saw police gathering. They told her about the 911 call that went out around 2:15 p.m. She radioed UPRs and PEP Officers Winston Farrell, Charles Williams, and [More...]

Budget Win! Union Gains in Parks, Libraries

June 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Standing with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and other council members and union leaders including DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido in the rotunda of City Hall, the mayor announced an agreement for a budget for fiscal year 2020. “We have a budget. The budget is balanced. It is progressive — and it’s early,” Mayor de Blasio said. Over months, DC 37 waged fierce campaigns with community-based coalitions to press the City Council for hiring and improvements. At rallies at City Hall and in testimony before the City Council, union members urged lawmakers to increase support for public services. . In the end, the union’s message was heard loud and clear. For Parks and Recreation, the city answered with $31 million in additional funds. This includes baseline (permanent) funding of $9.5 million to create positions for 100 seasonal park workers, 50 [More...]

Union Fights to Fund and Save Parks Jobs

May 16, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Play Fair coalition – consisting of DC 37 locals, parks advocates, elected officials and even the Girl Scouts of New York – returned to City Hall May 14 to keep the pressure on lawmakers to increase funding for Parks maintenance by $100 million in FY 2020 budget. As budget negotiations continue between the two sides of City Hall, Play Fair activists continue to call for sustained, baselined funding for 100 City Parks Workers and 50 Gardeners, tree stump removal, and extending the beach and pool season. “One-shot deals do NOT go far enough!” warned DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “The city has spent millions designing and building new parks and needs to invest in maintaining them.” “It’s insane that for six years we keep asking to baseline 150 Parks workers’ jobs,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn. “Baselining these [More...]

Generating Revenue, Protecting Services: DC 37 Leads the Way in NYC Budget Fight

May 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As the Mayor and the City Council negotiate next year’s budget, DC 37 leaders say New York City is losing millions of dollars in revenue by failing to invest fully in enforcement measures to safeguard its coffers. DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Local 1757 President Maria Policarpo have called on the city to reverse the decades-long reduction of staff responsible for tax assessments and property inspections. At a City Council budget hearing in March, Garrido noted the hazards of the current economic climate – issues with state aid, threats of reduced funding from the Trump administration – and urged lawmakers to take the steps required to generate more revenue. “We believe the root cause of this (lost revenue) problem is an undermanned workforce,” Garrido told the Council’s Finance Committee. “Millions of property tax dollars are left on the table by [More...]

Unions to City Hall: Save Jobs, Fund Parks!

March 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS DC 37 joined 40 parks advocacy groups and lawmakers for a noon City Hall rally Feb. 28 to demand $100 million in funding for public parks maintenance and safety in the FY 2020 city budget. “This is a no brainer — better parks makes for a better city. Our members keep city parks clean and safe for 130 million people who use them each year,” said DC 37 and Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I. “Our city should lead the country, setting the standard for well-maintained, beautified public parks.” DC 37 is part of the Play Fair campaign that calls for the mayor to add $100 million to the city budget for year-round Parks Dept. maintenance, cleaning and gardening jobs. Francois and City Council’s Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik, led chants and cheers with DC 37 presidents Dilcy Benn of Local 1505, Harrison Campbell of Local 957, Joe Puleo of Local [More...]